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PWRC: Aigner set for Finland `test`.

Andreas Aigner will be unable to defend his lead in the battle for the 2008 Production Car World Rally Championship title in Finland this weekend, even though he will be there competing in his usual Mitsubishi Evo IX.

The Red Bull Rally Team man didn't nominate the Jyvaskyla-based event as one of his six points scoring rounds at the start of the season, and so he won't be able to score P-WRC points - just like in Japan at the end of October.

The Austrian insists though that he isn't that worried, especially as all his rivals are in a similar position and have to drop two events too.

Indeed with a 16-point lead over his closest two rivals - following three P-WRC wins in succession in Argentina, Greece and Turkey - he is guaranteed to go to the next P-WRC event in New Zealand still on top, although that gap could be cut, depending on how his competitors, including local heroes Jari Ketomaa and Juha Hanninen, perform.

"To be honest I'm very happy to be ineligible for points this time because I've already seen which perils await you in Finland during last year's recce. The smaller jumps are very difficult to assess in particular," he noted.

"During the recce you are approaching them at 70 kph, but in the rally itself it's up to 170 kph. This is a perfect training for me, but at the same time I'm going to keep an eye on [Juha] Hanninen's and [Jari] Ketomaa's performance in their home event and how many points they'll collect in the final account.

"The overall PWRC classification is looking very good for me at the moment, but it's certain to change to my disadvantage after Finland. Let's wait and see what's really going to happen."

Red Bull Rally Team boss Raimund Baumschlager meanwhile added that the reason they have opted to do the event is so that Andreas can gain experience of the high-speed tests for 2009.

"Andreas will be able to drive without any kind of pressure at all this weekend and he will be able get to know the particularities of the Finnish Rally at competitive speeds," he confirmed.


Related Pictures

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Andreas Aigner (A) Klaus Wicha (D), Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9, Red Bull Rallye Team
Andreas Aigner (AUT), Red Bull Mitsubishi Lancer Evo. Rally Catalunya Costa Daurada, Spain. 5-7th Oct 2007.
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